Dreaming of the Masters III
A Jazz Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra
Instrumentation: *2222/4331/3 perc(3rd drum set), hp,jazz bass, solo tpt/strgs.
Composition Date: 2010
Commissioned by: The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
My Dreaming of the Masters series arose from a desire to combine my experience as an orchestral composer with my background as a jazz composer and performer. I wanted to write a series of concerti for soloists who where comfortable in both classical and jazz idioms. Each concerto would find inspiration in the jazz greats of the instrument I was writing for and though fully notated, would allow the player the option to improvise. Dreaming of the Masters I was a clarinet concerto written for James Campbell and Dreaming of the Masters II was a piano concerto written for William Eddins.
Dreaming of the Masters III is more a homage to the trumpet in popular music rather than any real individuals. The obvious choices would have been Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie but I think because I'm a trumpet player myself this seemed too obvious. Also, because I know Jens’ so well, I really wanted to write a piece that was tailor-made to his incredible virtuosic skills.
The three movements are titled; 101 Damnations, Prayer and Lower Neighbours. 101 Damnations pays homage to the trumpet in jazz starting with a slow New Orleans style blues that moves into 1940’s big band swing. The title comes from when I was a young child struggling to pronounce my “L’s” properly. So I was always asking to see my favorite Disney movie “101 Damnations”. The inspiration for Prayer came from wanting to showcase Jens’ beautiful flugelhorn playing. It starts and ends with short cadenzas surrounded by ethereal orchestration. The middle section has a slow groove that allows Jens a chance to improvise. Lower Neighbours pays homage to 20th century cornet virtuosos and the great Latin tradition of the trumpet. I like to think of it as Herbert L. Clarke meets Tito Puente. The title refers to both the melodic gestures played by the cornet; the opening virtuosic section contains many upper and lower neighbor notes, as well as the fact that Latin music comes from our neighbors to the south.
Commissioned by Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and premiered on September 17/18, 2010 at the Francis Winspear Centre for Music by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Jens Lindemann – soloist, Bruce Hangen conductor